§ Mr. Alfred Morris
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether, in the light of the stated policy of successive Governments to promote the regional airports and direct regional air services, he will make a statement on why Government Departments have advised Singapore International Airlines in discussions that an application for a direct service to Manchester would not be supported by the Government unless a compensating service reduction was made in respect of London.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
Singapore International Airlines operates its service to London as a result of the United Kingdom-Singapore air services agreement. This requires the capacity to be related to the demand for carriage on the route. The United Kingdom believes that the capacity mounted by SIA is already excessive in relation to the provisions of the air services agreement for this route. A service between Singapore and Manchester will not increase the total traffic between Britain and Singapore. It would not therefore justify an increase in the total capacity operated by SIA to the United Kingdom. The Government would, however, welcome an SIA service to Manchester provided SIA made a corresponding reduction in the frequency of its London services.